Thursday, 25 July 2013

The secret's out

Over the 66 years of my life, I've confided some very intimate, very personal thoughts and feelings to other people. Mainly to Jenny but also to other close and trusted friends.

Have I ever regretted such confessions? Strangely enough, I haven't. I can't recall anything that had damaging consequences or made me feel a reckless idiot.

Other people seem to do it all the time. Those familiar phrases - "Me and my big mouth", "I open my mouth and put my foot in it", "Did I say that out loud?"

Well, I don't use them myself. Have I, for example, ever been unfair to someone, shocked or horrified someone, diminished myself, exposed my weaknesses and frailties? Yes, I've done the last. But I'm happy to do that with people I trust.

Have I revealed things that are simply too private and personal to be shared? I don't think so. Someone can only get to know me properly if I tell them everything that goes on inside me. And that means everything.

There are people I haven't seen for decades who know quite mind-boggling things about me, but I'm not bothered. I doubt they've abused my trust in them, and even if they have, even if they've gossiped shamelessly, it'll be to people I don't know who can't do me any harm.

Then again, I don't need to have confessed to anything. There are glaring shortcomings I've revealed simply in the course of everyday life - sexual hang-ups, social ineptness, nasty habits, chronic self-doubts. But so what? Why be embarrassed that people have stumbled on awkward faults? They have just as many themselves.

I've got nothing to hide. My only worry is what others will do with the information. But by and large my trust hasn't been misplaced.

20 comments:

Z said...

I've let out most of my personal shortcomings on my blog over the years. Secrets - no regrets there because I'd only tell them to people I really trusted and I've not been let down either.

nick said...

Z: Not a lot of secrets left then? Glad you've not been let down either.

Rummuser said...

I am an open book Nick. There are no secrets about me that someone could misuse. When I smoked my first cigarette, my mother told me that I should never do anything outside the home that I would not do inside the home. She permitted me to smoke in the home. Those were the days when smoking was not such a big crime as it is now. I have followed that dictum as have all my siblings and our children. All of us talk openly about our good and misfortunes and our family matters with family and friends. What is there to hide?

nick said...

Ramana: But my question is, have you ever divulged anything that later on you regretted divulging? Was there anything that embarrassed or upset someone, or generally caused problems?

Wisewebwoman said...

My life tends to be a bit of an open book, I am fairly public with all my transgressions and shortcomings.

No, I've never regretted any of it.

XO
WWW

nick said...

www: I'm glad to hear that. I did recall one slightly embarrassing secret I revealed - a boyfriend someone was trying to keep under wraps. But it was hardly a major calamity.

Rummuser said...

No Nick, nothing comes to mind. Not that I am a saint, but nothing really comes to mind.

Liz said...

Sometimes I say things without speaking - and then think, 'oops.'

Now that would be a talent: to say things without speaking. Probably a lot safer than saying things without thinking.

nick said...

Ramana: How very admirable! You must think very carefully before you open your mouth!

Liz: There are certainly occasions where I wish I'd never spoken. All those silly and obvious remarks that weren't worth saying....

Secret Agent Woman said...

I've not regretted sharing secrets with good friends. Secret about me, I mean. I'd feel awful if I let someone else's secret slip because friends should be able to keep things in confidence. I think I'm pretty good about that, though.

On the other hand, I have told my kids things that I didn't know they weren't already aware of and as soon as I see the expression on their faces, I find myself saying, "Oh! I probably shouldn't have told you that!" My older son calls me the Hagrid of moms.

nick said...

Agent: I'm not a Harry Potter fan so I had to check out Rubeus Hagrid. "He has a habit of letting slip bits of information." Seems like a useful chap to know - if you don't mind his heavy drinking.

Bijoux said...

I doubt if anyone cares about my secrets. And people have told me secrets I really wish they hadn't!

John Gray said...

Most of us confide to someone we KNOW we can trust
That's why're do it....
But I will be choosy
Different friends will get different slants of the story

nick said...

Bijoux: Secrets you wish they hadn't told you? Oh, I don't find that at all, I love to hear absolutely anything. People's strange quirks and obsessions are fascinating.

John: That makes sense. What one person understands and sympathises with, another person will find totally baffling.

Rummuser said...

That would result in my putting my right royal foot in it.

nick said...

Ramana: It's a strange expression, because if you actually had your foot in your mouth, you wouldn't be able to say anything at all....

Jenny Woolf said...

It's very much a matter of trust. Some people can twist around anything you tell them, however innocent. I think my position is the same as yours. I try only to share with people I know I can trust.

nick said...

Jenny: It's true that people can twist things you tell them out of all recognition. Though thankfully I haven't experienced that very often.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

You are fortunate! Yes, I am one of those whose trust has been abused, and I've lost friends because of it - oh, not that I said anyone bad about anyone, but simply that I revealed an opinion or perhaps a part of my character they didn't like.

It used to hurt, but I think these days I'm over it. If someone doesn't like me, tough luck! I'm still left with a certain caution, however.

nick said...

Jay: I know the feeling. I just lost a good friend recently because she decided there were things she didn't like about me. You just have to pick up the pieces and move on, I guess.